Mercury Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development of small molecule and natural product activators of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Mercury's technology is based upon three main assets: (i) A proprietary lead generation platform engineered to facilitate discovery and development of activators of AMP Kinase, (ii) two proprietary small molecule lead series that bind to AMP kinase and stimulate its enzymatic activity. These compounds have also been shown to lower blood glucose levels in mice with type 2 diabetes, and (iii) An OTC product line of nutraceutical-based AMP kinase activators for multiple well established markets focused on disease prevention and fitness. These markets include pre-diabetes/metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular health, , endurance training and wellness/longevity.
AMPK is a well-validated, though largely unexploited, protein kinase drug target for metabolic disease. While a number of anti-diabetic drugs currently on the market, including metformin (Glucophage®) and pioglitazone (Actos®), act indirectly to activate AMPK, Mercury Pharmaceuticals is seeking to develop the first orally available direct AMPK activator. In addition, scientists at Mercury have shown that the Company’s lead compounds work additively with metformin, the most commonly perscribed type 2 diabetes drug in the world, to lower blood glucose levels further than is possible with metformin alone and also to inhibit cellular pathways that are commonly over-activated in human tumor cells.
The potential indications of a successful AMPK targeted drug include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardioprotection during an acute myocardial infarction
- Selected cancers- prostate, breast, NSCLC, colorectal, pancreatic